There Are No Emergencies

February 8th, 2010

For some reason I started thinking this morning about something I learned years ago when I was 19. Basically that even in the emergency room of a hospital, there are no emergencies.

I was on a three week wilderness hiking trip with Outward Bound. Our leader was a medical doctor and accomplished mountaineer. In the evenings we would gather and he’d talk with us and share wisdom about being in the outdoors and life in general. It may have been having to do with dealing with an injury that he mentioned this.

He told us that even in the emergency room there are no true emergencies. I can’t remember the specifics, but took away from it that there are no occasions in life where freaking out is an option. Someone may come into an emergency room with a split open gut or severed back or whatever, but there is always time to assess it and determine rationally how to deal with it.

So next time you are tempted to freak out about something and start acting without thinking in order to deal with some perceived emergency, stop for a second, remember that it probably isn’t truly an emergency, and proceed with a level head. Chances are that if you do proceed without clarity, you will regret it later.

Time to stop being a 'bad blogger'

September 21st, 2009

Are you a blogger? Or do you fall into the category that many bloggers would put themselves into? I call this being a ‘bad bloggizen’. Here’s how it goes: You set up a blog and you post some articles. Then you get to thinking that no one is listening and no one really cares what you think, and this is really a whole lot of work anyway. You blog languishes and before you know it your latest article is from months ago, or worse, years ago!

I’ve been thinking about this and it’s appropriate that I should start blogging again with a few thoughts on the matter and one key tip for turning it all around. Try it for yourself and see if it works!

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Send More Toilet Paper!

May 14th, 2007

In working with non-technical people who are not familiar with all of the different acronyms and codes that are used in the technical world, it is a common challenge to be able to communicate on the most basic level. One example is in setting up email servers.

“In the outgoing mail server field, type in” “Type in what?” “Ess emm tee pee” “Ess emm pee tee?” “No, as in SEND MORE TOILET PAPER” “ohhh”

I’m going to propose the development of a standardized list of alternate, memorable, meanings of acronyms for the non-techie. Why should we explain to them that SMTP means “Simple Mail Transmision Protocol”? I mean, who really cares? Even half of the techie people would have to look it up.

If this development of a standardized list of alternate memorable meanings (SLAMM) takes off, then we can look forward to fewer typos when communicating techie. If you happen to stumble upon this blog entry in your travels, drop a comment and suggest a SLAMM for your most frustrating acronyms.

Here’s a start on suggestions.

  • DNS : Drinking Numbs the Shenshes
  • IMAP: I Make Armpit Poots
  • SMTP: Send More Toilet Paper

I guess the usefulness of SLAMM will be limited to things that people have to communicate verbally. It’ll be fun to work on though, and useful to remind techies that they don’t have to explain the meanings of these cryptic concepts to people, they just have to pass on the data in a fun and friendly way so that they make their audience feel comfortable.

Peter van Kampen

February 7th, 2007

Peter is a remarkable man. He is gifted in many ways and he is now married. I haven’t seen Peter in a number of years but I just found out for sure that he is a married man. I suspect that he is off galavanting on a honeymoon with his bride. Won’t it be a surprise when he returns if this little blog post about him is vying for top spot in the search engines for his name Peter van Kampen.

I’m inspired to write something about Peter because of my gratitude for having met him and my joy at the news of his marriage.

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Welcome Patrick Michael Dwan

January 31st, 2007

What does a man say when his first son arrives? I don’t know. Wow! My girls are two beautiful princesses that melt my heart daily – I can’t take anything away from my joy in them. Still, there is something special about this arrival. Maybe it’s all the new hopes and dreams I have for this little man. Maybe it’s the new responsibility I now feel to demonstrate to him how to be a good man. One way or another it is all joy, hope and eager expectation. I always wait eagerly for this word.. “Dada!”

Without further ado…

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There are a few things that I have to remember:

I had to install the 32 bit extensions for Ubuntu to get litespeed working. I had to change the sources file for apt-get to look outside into the universe…

other than that it was pretty simple

What I need to do now is figure out what to do about the user for litespeed and permissions.


It's In the Small Details

September 1st, 2006

bread n water
I noticed this glass sitting on the table as we were finishing up lunch just the other day. It struck me. This is a sample of the little kinds of details of parenthood that we deal with every day. I’m sure any parent, especially of young children will identify with this. It’s gross.

I look at this a bit longer and I realize that this is beautiful in so many ways. A child is so different. They explore and play and they think nothing of dropping their sandwich into their water glass. As an adult it just shows how far I have come. It also affords me the chance to remember that I once too was like this.

It is also beautiful because it is part of the texture of parenting. Parenting is nothing like a glossy photo of parent and child. It is rich with all kinds of textures, feelings, dirty diapers, crying, laughing, quiet moments and tantrums. It is rich with toys all over the house and bread in water glasses. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

MiniStory: The Leap of Faith

August 31st, 2006

“Take and eat.”, said the Voice.

I looked out athe apple, hanging over the abyss. “What!?”

“Take and eat.”

Could I grab the apple without falling in? I reached. Too high. I stretched. Too high. The only way was to leap. I had come so far. What the hell! I leaped and grabbed the apple, thinking to swing back to solid ground. My heart leaped along with me. I held fast to the branch but it didn’t bear my weight at all. I fell into the abyss, apple in hand.

Down, down, down. It was getting dark.

I cursed, I thrashed, I screamed. “You betrayed me! You lied!” The voice was silent. I fell deeper into blackness, my anger smoldered. Then I thought about how the voice had led me true this far. It had brought such joy, though mixed with sorrow. But here the sorrow seemed even sweeter somehow. Could I die for the voice? Yes. I might as well accept this death with courage.

“Take and eat.” the voice said again.

Oh! I couldn’t see the apple in the darkness, but I took a bite. Life entered me as I had never known. Light bloomed around me. I was flying with the wings of a great eagle in the abyss which suddently seemed to be full of life. There were birds of every species dancing joyfully in the air. I took to the sky, laughing.

“I am such a fool!”, I cried out as tears of joy floated off into the cool breeze.